We’re gliding along like a swan in the dark
infuriating baffled drivers. We’re low on charge,
less than twelve miles left, but that’s an estimation
—it’s not linear, but energetic, like we are.
And how stupid they seem, tooting their horns !
The old world accelerates on by in its demise,
insane in its sanity, heartless in its vanity.
We’re from the future, re-entering history.
Meanwhile we know every curve, every crest of hill
and slight descent…on our way to the one big descent
that might just be our rescue, tripping these
white dashboard dots into the green, re-charging.
You can be sure we don’t fancy being stranded
in this first freezing night of late autumn
as the leaves hang waiting finally to release.
You click your window down to wave another driver on
as I scrub at the fogged windscreen with a cloth
to save battery; willing us to continue—
we’re going to get there; somehow I just know it.
We joke about our own electricity, and having pedals.
Faith is: strangely, there’s no arguing about it.
We crawl to the hill’s edge—exhaling to its plunge
as we dive…you dip the lights
slowing into eco-mode…no one, thankgod,
Remember the women back at the garage
who could not comprehend my question
assuming I want to plug in some kind of toy.
I repeat, we have an electric car.
No, she finally says, abruptly saving face.
Imagine, we are from the future
visiting planet earth on a mundane mid-week evening;
she stares at me like the Man who Fell to Earth.
We are from a future we can only believe in
uncertain of its destiny—will we really get there ?
Down the winding hill to the long flat stretch
at the edge of industrialization which limps on for miles
until we finally reach the town, Bethlehem-Stroud
rolling downhill to Ecotricity: nothing left
pulling across a mini-roundabout like a giant full stop,
and onto their forecourt: swan landing.
You try to figure out their locked pump as I pace
with your iPhone, but the app doesn’t connect.
A drunk appears across the road shouting shirtless,
his bare torso a dare against the cold.
It doesn’t matter, we’re going to leave it here
frog-marching through the freezing air
back to the blessing of central heating
unlike the other half of our humanity those same cars
are accelerating past.
No time to feel anything but warmth, heat, sleep
in these migrant days before the dawning
as we contemplate our escape—
and the Seventh Seal breaks.
3 Nov. 2016